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Biden Administration Denies Michigan Governor Request for Additional Vaccine; Fatal Minneapolis Shooting Impacts Derek Chauvin Trial; Live Coverage of Derek Chauvin Trial With Jonathan Rich Testifying. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 12, 2021 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Michigan's governor says she needs more vaccine doses as that state experiences a big surge in new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. The White House has refused, saying that Michigan and other states need to be more efficient with how they handle their existing supply. CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.

Elizabeth, this gets to a broader debate here, right? I mean, to this point, the federal government has handed out to all states kind of evenly based on population. Raises the question though, if you have something of a crisis, as we're seeing in Michigan, should you adjust that policy and say, you know, kind of flood the zone in the meantime? Any consideration of that?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. You know, certainly some experts think that is the way to go, you should be keeping track of where you're seeing a lot of cases. That was done for example when we were distributing antibody drugs.

But I think the decision of this administration has been, look, we're going to have a surge here and a surge there and a surge there, and we're not going to do all that. We're just going to give you what you should be getting based on your population, because who knows what state is going to be next.

But there is no question, Jim, Michigan is in a pretty bad situation. Let's take a look at these numbers. If you look at new cases in Michigan per day, 74 new cases per 100,000 people per day. That is the highest rate in the United States. Just to put that in perspective, the second highest is New Jersey with 40 new cases per 100,000 per day. So 74, the second highest is 42.

Now, one of the big reasons for this is that the U.K. variant, which as we know is so much more transmissible, that is especially prevalent in Michigan. They have the highest rate of that in the entire country -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this. Are we seeing deaths go up commensurate to the new infections? COHEN: You know, not exactly but we certainly are seeing deaths go

up, and so that's really a concern. It's not just that people are getting sick, people are also dying. And so that is a reason why some people do argue, you know what, get the vaccines out to where there are surges, it could save lives.

SCIUTTO: OK. More broadly in the country, the news on vaccines is good, right? I mean, we just showed on the screen a short time ago, now more than 20 percent of the population fully vaccinated, CDC just said by the end of this week, more than half of all adults in the U.S. will have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

And we had this record over the weekend, 4.6 million doses in a 24- hour period. That's going along swimmingly as far as you can tell? Any disruption to that trend?

COHEN: You know, Jim, I'll tell you, there were all sorts of people, sources of mine who were complaining about how this was going at the end of the Trump administration, at the very beginning of the Biden administration. They are not complaining any more.

They think that clearly we have a really good supply and clearly the execution is being done well. it's not surprising, it sort of takes a while to get into something like this. This isn't something we do every year. As a matter of fact, we've basically never done what we're trying to do right now in this particular way.


So yes, it is going quite well. The key is to have it continue to go quite well. There are some manufacturing concerns about Johnson & Johnson, some concerns that that supply is not going to be what it was. However, Johnson & Johnson is a pretty small fraction of what's being used right now in the United States; Moderna and Pfizer doses are much more plentiful.

SCIUTTO: I'll tell you, it's a benefit of having multiple options, right? Of having three different manufacturers with three pretty --

COHEN: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- reliable vaccines in the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much.

We continue to wait the --

COHEN: Thanks.

SCIUTTO: -- restart of the Derek Chauvin trial. This would be day 11. We have some pretrial motions being taken care of now, but once they get into the meat of it we're going to bring it to you live. Please stay with us.


[10:40:07] SCIUTTO: We are monitoring events on day 11 of the Derek Chauvin trial, and a key moment now because you have defense lawyers arguing that the jury needs to be sequestered by the judge because of events over the last 24 hours in and around Minneapolis in response to the shooting of a young black man, a fatal shooting by police of a young black man.

We're joined now by Laura Coates, former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst. This is quite a question here. You and I spoke earlier about the effect that those events in Minneapolis might have on the trial, now you have the defense arguing jury should be sequestered. Will they win this argument, is it a substantial one?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: This was our concern earlier when we were talking about it, Jim, how it can cut both ways, the idea the jury already having been voir dired on questions regarding Black Lives Matter, looting, protests, what happened, the events in the summer of 2020, all that was also part of the special questionnaire.

And so the idea here now is the defense is saying, look, this is too much now, this is going to weigh on the minds of jurors and make an unfair prejudicial bias against the defendant. Of course the prosecution is saying absolutely not, we are opposing this. Well, we will agree to perhaps having them limited even more in their use of media, but how do you define media? Is everything off the table now?

And remember, these facts in the case that are unfolding before us in the fatal shooting of Mr. Wright outside of Minneapolis is actually markedly different, as far as we can tell just by the mechanism of death already. That was a phrase we heard about a lot last week. That was involving yesterday a shooting death of officers by officers of a person.

Now we're talking about what happened over a nine minute and 29-second period with video footage. The person has been charged with a crime, other officers on the scene, et cetera. We don't know how these compare and contrast, but the mechanism alone of death is different.

Also, where does this end? If you're the judge, Judge Cahill in this, and you say to yourself, OK, do I need to sequester every jury every time there is an officer-involved shooting in another jurisdiction that may be coverage of this?

Remember, the summer of 2020 and the reaction, the visceral reaction to George Floyd was how illustrative it was for so many other cases, not just ones that involved asphyxiation, that reminded you of Eric Garner, but what happened with other cases, whether it was Walter Shaub or Rayshard Brooks or Ahmaud Arbery or Elijah McClain or Breonna Taylor, all of which had very distinct patterns and fact patterns.

So the idea here, you're going to be able to sequester a jury away from any officer-involved shooting or officer-involved death, is really going to be not just an uphill battle, it's going to be impossible to do so.

Plus the prosecution has already gone through two weeks of their case, so the idea here, they're going to have to sequester a jury after they're --


COATES: -- probably at the tail end of their evidence is odd.

SCIUTTO: Understood. Sara Sidner, I believe we might have an update from the courtroom on this consideration? What are you learning?

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do, we do. As Laura was mentioning, you know, sequestering this jury that didn't happen in the beginning, and the judge has ruled on the defense's motion to sequester the jury now because of this last shooting, a police officer shot and killed, Daunte Wright, last night, causing an uproar from the community.

And the judge has made a decision, the judge has denied the defense's motion to sequester this jury because of this latest police officer- involved shooting.

And, you know, look, the judge could have sequestered this jury in the very beginning, but I think the judge realizes that right now with social media, with all of the ways in which you can get information, being sequestered, what are they going to do? Take their phones away from them so they can't communicate with their families at all?

So I think that the judge has decided that, look, this is something that happens in these communities, it is something that certainly should not have a major effect on this trial.

And remember, we've already heard from 35 witnesses, and he has, over and over again, made sure and asked the jurors during voir dire that can they be partial, can they be impartial, can they pay attention to all of just the details of what they're hearing in the court? And each and every one of them, when asked, answered they could be impartial, they could just look at the evidence given to them in court. And he is sticking with that and deciding that, no, the defense's motion will not go forward, they will not sequester this jury -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Voir dire, the process prior to selecting a jury, when these questions are asked, can you impartially consider this case based on past experiences, opinions, et cetera?

Laura Coates, they've called the jury back in now, we'll go back the moment that they resume proceedings here. But based on what you know from your seat, did the judge make the right decision here?

COATES: Yes, he did, but of course it will now open this issue on appeal. The defense is going to try to use this to demonstrate that he did not receive a fair trial, that some intervening extrajudicial event essentially was the cause of the jury being biased, if in fact it causes a conviction of a (ph) particular (ph) defendant.


But again, I think he made the right call because, for the reasons that Sara and I have been speaking about, this is the presentation of evidence over two weeks at this point. They've already been voir dired over the process of how they could be impartial.

That doesn't mean your head is in the sand, not one of these jurors or potential jurors was ever asked if they knew nothing about the case. And had they frankly said, Jim, they knew nothing about the case, it would almost be like around the '90s, and someone saying, oh, was there a Ford Bronco going down the L.A. highway? This person would not be credible in the minds of the prosecution or defense.

And so the idea that they're supposed to be impartial means that not that you don't have perhaps some viewpoints, or you have some personal beliefs, but you're able to check them at the door, receive the prosecution and the defense evidence, follow jury instructions including stay away from coverage of this case, and render a decision based on that.

So the idea of having to interrupt and saying, hmm, with every police shooting unfortunately, there probably will be more, and probably have been through the course of this trial, maybe (INAUDIBLE) know about them. That cannot interrupt justice for this particular trial.

SCIUTTO: Charles Ramsey also joining us, of course led police departments in D.C. and in Philadelphia.

To the issue at hand outside of the courtroom, and that is that police in the Minneapolis area have to deal with protests in response to this shooting on Sunday. And some of those -- I don't want to call them protests, but -- some leading to looting, violence, chasing police. How do police effectively respond to that?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well you know, again, protests are legitimate, I mean, and people have a constitutional right to do that. Looting is not protesting --


RAMSEY: -- period, and you've got to stop it, you've got to stop it quickly. These are businesses that deserve protection just like a person would deserve protection. So you do the best you can to try to have that balance, to allow people to really express their concerns and to protest. But at the same time, you can't allow property destruction to take place. It's always a difficult thing to do, but that's what you have to do in this case.

Hopefully it doesn't spread to the city of Minneapolis, but right now we just don't know what happened. But you know, last night was not a pretty thing at all in regard to the response by some members of the community. Not all, but some.

SCIUTTO: Yes, and the mother of the victim actually spoke to the crowds last night and said, please don't do this, it doesn't help the situation.

Laura, Charles, Sara, please stand by. We're going to take a quick break here while we wait for day 11 of the Derek Chauvin trial to resume. We're going to bring it to you the moment it does, please stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SCIUTTO: The state has just called its next witness in day 11 of the Derek Chauvin trial, Dr. Jonathan Rich. There's now a sidebar discussion between lawyers and the judge taking place. Laura Coates is with us as we prepare to listen in.

Laura, another doctor here, you've repeatedly talked about the multiple jobs of the prosecution, one being both of course dealing with excessive force, but determining cause of death. What more do they need to do?

COATES: Well, they need to essentially corroborate, confirm, reiterate the idea that this was a substantial causal factor in the death of George Floyd. Remember, the timing's important here, it's Monday. It's Monday morning, which means the jurors have had at least two days off --


SCIUTTO: Laura, sincere apologies.

COATES: -- testimony.

SCIUTTO: Sincere apologies, the sidebar is over. Let's listen in on the testimony, Dr. Jonathan Rich.

JONATHAN RICH, CARDIOLOGIST: -- where I also am an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University.

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Dr. Rich, what have you come to talk to the jury about today?

RICH: I'm here as an expert, cardiology specialist, to provide my opinion as to how Mr. George Floyd died.

BLACKWELL: Have you ever testified in a court of law before?

RICH: This is my first time.

BLACKWELL: Would you briefly summarize for us your educational background?

RICH: Sure. So I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign for my undergraduate studies, where I majored in biology and performed my premedical coursework.

BLACKWELL: Where did you go to medical school?

RICH: I went to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

BLACKWELL: And do you know what a residency is?

RICH: Yes, I do know what a residency is. BLACKWELL: Would you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury what a

residency is?

RICH: Sure. So after completing medical school, I went on to do training in internal medicine. And that training is referred to as a residency. I believe the term originated because you seem to spend all the time in the hospital, you were basically a resident there. And so that was a three-year internal medicine residency.

BLACKWELL: And where did you do that residency?

RICH: I did that at the Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

BLACKWELL: Did you also have something called a fellowship?

RICH: Yes, I did.

BLACKWELL: What is a fellowship?

RICH: So upon completing internal medicine residency training, many will go on to practice at that point. I opted to specialize in cardiology. And so when you take on an additional specialty, that form of training is referred to as a fellowship.

BLACKWELL: And so did you do a fellowship?

RICH: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And where did you do your fellowship?

RICH: So I did my fellowship at the University of Chicago.


BLACKWELL: And were you what's known as a chief (ph) fellow?

RICH: Yes, I was the chief fellow.

BLACKWELL: What is a chief fellow?

RICH: So every fellowship program has about, on average, 18 cardiology fellows, six in each class. And so I was bestowed the honor to be the chief fellow, which is basically being the captain of the group.

BLACKWELL: Did you have any additional training, then, after your fellowship?

RICH: Yes, I did.

BLACKWELL: What was that?

RICH: So after completing cardiology fellowship, I decided that I wanted to sub-specialize further in a field of advanced heart disease that focuses on heart failure and heart transplantation. BLACKWELL: Are you board-certified?

RICH: Yes, I am board-certified in both cardiovascular diseases and in advanced heart failure and transplant medicine.

BLACKWELL: Transplant cardiology?

RICH: That's correct.

BLACKWELL: What is transplant cardiology as a field?

RICH: So thankfully, most people are not going to need a heart transplant, but on occasion patients' hearts will worsen over time and get to the point where they're tremendously weak and can't function on their own any more, the medicine isn't working. And so the field of transplant cardiology is one in which we try to see if we can find a suitable match for that individual to get them a heart transplant, essentially to restore their life.

BLACKWELL: Are you trained in basic and advanced cardiac life support?

RICH: Yes, I am. And I renew that training every two years as part of my job.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk a bit about your employment background. After you finished your fellowship, where did you go to work?

RICH: Right. So after completing the heart failure and transplant fellowship, I took my first position at the University of Chicago as a cardiovascular specialist in heart failure.

BLACKWELL: And were you employed there until May of 2013?

RICH: That's correct.

BLACKWELL: And where did you go to work after that?

RICH: So since May of 2013, I have been at Northwestern University, as I mentioned earlier, as one of the heart failure and transplant cardiologists.

BLACKWELL: Do you hold any leadership positions at Northwestern?

RICH: Yes, I do.

BLACKWELL: What's that?

RICH: So one of them is I am the medical director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program.

BLACKWELL: Mechanical Circulatory Support Program?

RICH: Right.

BLACKWELL: Now, what is that? RICH: Yes, I'll keep it brief, but basically we (ph) talked about

heart transplant for a minute, so patients whose hearts become very weak and perhaps they're not a good suitable match for a transplant or they just don't have time to wait for a transplant, we can implant mechanical heart pumps that, combined with their weakened heart, can restore blood flow to their body to improve their quality of life and allow them to live longer.

BLACKWELL: Do you have any other relevant leadership positions at Northwestern?

RICH: Yes, I do. I am also the program director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellowship Training Program.

BLACKWELL: And what does your job then at Northwestern entail as relates to either heart disease treatment, prevention?

RICH: Sure. So I could answer that by basically putting it into three major domains. As a cardiologist, I perform a lot of clinical work. That is probably the most intensive part of my job.

BLACKWELL: Before you go on, would you tell the jury what's meant by "clinical work" as compared to what?

RICH: Absolutely. Clinical work basically means patient care, OK? So it's the actual acts of taking care of patients, whether it be in the hospital, outside of the hospital. That's what we kind of think of when we say "clinical."

I also do a fair amount of education and teaching. I teach the students, residents and fellows, I travel across the country and deliver lectures on a variety of cardiovascular topics and help chair medical meetings. And then the third part of my job as a cardiologist is I conduct clinical research, and have been doing so in a variety of cardiovascular diseases for nearly 20 years.

BLACKWELL: Do you spend most of your time though providing clinical care to patients?

RICH: Yes, that is for sure the most intense aspect of my job.

BLACKWELL: And what does your clinical practice then entail in terms of taking care of patients?

RICH: Sure. So my clinical practice has three components. Number one is my job in the hospital, so I spend several months, sometimes four to five months of the year, as the lead cardiologist rounding (ph) in the hospital, taking care of basically the sickest heart disease patients in the hospital. And I also oversee their care in the intensive care unit.


The second part of my clinical duties is I see patients in the outpatient setting.